Pioneer Plaza & Texas Longhorns

Texas Longhorns in downtown Dallas, Texas
Texas Longhorns in downtown Dallas, Texas

Pioneer Plaza:
Located just north of the Dallas Convention Center is Pioneer Plaza. It is a large public park in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The centerpiece of the Pioneer Plaza is large sculptures. It is a heavily visited tourist site. Located next to Pioneer Park Cemetery, which features the Confederate War Memorial, the two offer the largest public open space in Dallas’ central business district.

Background of Pioneer Plaza:
The land was once railroad and warehouse property. Built on land cleared as part of the failed Griffin Square development, developer Trammel Crow gets credit for the idea behind the sculptures and plaza. He wanted an iconic “Western” sculpture in the City of Dallas. He assembled a group to give the sculptures. The project started in 1992, at a total cost of $9,000,000.00. Built on 4.2 acres of land donated by the City of Dallas, $4,800,000.00 of the cost came from private funds raised from individuals and local businesses.

Sculpture:
The large sculpture celebrates the nineteenth-century cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail. It was the earliest and easternmost route by which Texas longhorn cattle moved to northern railheads. The trail passed through Austin, Waco, and Dallas until the Chisholm Trail siphoned off most of the traffic in 1867.

Artist Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas created 70 bronze steers and three trail riders sculptures. Each steer is larger-than-life at six feet high. Altogether the sculpture is the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world. Set along an artificial ridge, man-made limestone cliff the native landscaping with a flowing stream and waterfall creates a dramatic effect.

Maintained by the adjacent Dallas Convention Center, Pioneer Plaza is the second most visited tourist attraction in downtown Dallas.

Source:

Creative Commons License

Pioneer Plaza by Wikipedia and Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Plaza.

The photograph was taken in Dallas, Texas USA by Jimmie A. Kepler in December 2008.

Creative Commons License

Texas Longhorns in downtown Dallas, Texas by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://www.dropbox.com/s/6u5jvbvtdlc08k8/100_1613.jpg.

Poem: Born during the Korean War

640px-Aldrin_Apollo_11_originalBorn during the Korean War

Born during the Korean War,
Raised in the 1950s and 1960s
Stay at home mom and hard working dad
They gave us a better chance than they ever had.
And were glad they did, but never told them.

Eisenhower was president when we started school,
Boys wore flat-tops, tee-shirts, and Levi’s jeans.
Girls in dresses, saddle oxfords and knee sox,
Kennedy debated Nixon,
And we got a black and white TV.

Mantle and Maris chased Babe Ruth,
In Cuba we faced off the Soviet Missiles,
In Dallas President Kennedy was shot,
It was different before the British invasion,
And then the world started to rock.

Our hair grew longer, our skirts got shorter,
We had loud music our parents couldn’t stand,
We watched Viet-Nam each night over supper,
Hey, hey LBJ how many kids did you kill today?
We wanted muscle cars and drove old Chevys.

Saturday night with our favorite girl,
Sheiks and Trojans would go with us to the drive-in.
And we’d be in luck each month if nature struck
And if not you said I do – and did
Beatles, Stones, CCR, Johnny Cash, and Glen Campbell

We crossed the Trinity River for a beer,
Boones Farm and Everclear… and Nixon was back
And we buried Everett who was killed in ‘Nam
With dozens from high school somehow surviving the big trip
And we went to the moon.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
January 1974

Photo Source:
Aldrin Apollo 11 original” by NASA – http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5903HR.jpghttp://www.archive.org/details/AS11-40-5903 (TIFF image). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Summer in Dallas

Dallas, Texas USA

Howdy, this is Jimmie Kepler. I don’t know where the readers of my blog live, or what their weather is like. I live in Dallas, Texas. Dallas is in the southwestern part of the United States of America. It is summer in Dallas.

Long time residences and native Texans refer to this time of year as “the blast furnace”. Why do we call it that? It is because the weather is usually as hot as if you were near a blast furnace.

Speaking of the word hot, it is not used by the weather person on the television or radio until the temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When we are just in the 90 degrees range, they say it will be warm today. My guess is where you live 90 degrees is considered hot. It isn’t that way in Dallas or north Texas.

Most days when I get off work, if the temperature is below 100 degrees I do not turn on my car air conditioner. The exception is when I am just sitting in traffic.

To stay cool in our homes in the summer we run fans and air conditioning. My house is normally cooled to 78 degrees with a fan running to keep the air moving.

My day job considers the warm weather. We are allowed to wear shorts to work twelve months a year. On the warmest days, you will find me in khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It is very casual business dress.

Why not leave me a comment about where you live and the weather you have in July? I would love to hear from you!

March 17, 2014

Frank Buck
Frank Buck

On This Day in Texas History:

On this day in 1884, Frank “Bring ‘Em Back Alive” Buck was born in Gainesville, Texas. He was a hunter and “collector of wild animals,” as well as a movie actor, director, writer and producer. He traveled the world catching and shipping exotic animals to zoos and circuses. He wrote at least seven books. The best known of the books is “Bring ‘Em Back Alive”. He is also known for his 1930s and 40s jungle adventure movies including Wild Cargo, Jungle Cavalcade, Jacare, Killer of the Amazon, many of which included staged “fights to the death” between formidable beasts. Mr. Buck died of lung cancer in Houston on March 25, 1950.

Saint Patrick’s Day:

Dallas has a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Greenville Avenue. It has 90 floats and more than 125,000 people in attendance. This year the parade was on Saturday, March 15. The parade began at Greenville at Blackwell Street and ends at SMU Boulevard.

St Patrick's Day, Dallas, TX.
St Patrick’s Day, Dallas, TX.

Photo Credit:

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

w:en:Creative Commons

Description: Dallas, Texas
Date: 16 March 2012, 21:04:07
Source: Flickr: skyline – st. patrick’s day
Author: adrian valenzuela

March 14, 2014

Jack Ruby
Jack Ruby

This Day in Texas History:

It is Friday March 14, 2014. It is the 73rd day of 2014. There are 292 days left in the year. It was 50 years ago today that Jack Ruby was convicted of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Less than four months earlier, back on November 24, 1963, Ruby had shot and killed Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald was the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. The shooting took place on live national television in the basement of the Dallas City Jail.

I find it amazing that the trial and conviction happened so quickly – less than four months after the crime. Most people don’t know the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Jack Ruby’s conviction. Mr. Ruby was awaiting a retrial when he died in prison in 1967. Ruby always denied he was part of a conspiracy. He stated until his death that he shot Oswald on impulse from grief and outrage over his concern for Jackie and the kids, referring to President Kennedy’s widow.

My Memories:

I was living at 803 Jefferson Avenue in Seguin, Texas when John Kennedy was assassinated. I was a fifth grade student at Jefferson Avenue Elementary School. I saw Ruby shoot Oswalt. It was craziness on television and the world felt out of control to me. My father was in South Vietnam at the time. He was in the United States Air Force. We were proud that Texas Lyndon Johnson was the new president as we had no doubt he could lead the country and protect us from the Soviet Union. Mostly, I remember being sad about the entire assassination.

Photo Credit: Image can be found at http://www.history-matters.com/archive/archive_holdings.htm Originated from the report of the Warren Commission a US Government report. From WH Vol.18 p.32, detail. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code. See Copyright.

March 11, 2014

This Day in Texas History:

It is Tuesday March 11, 2014. It is the 70th day of 2014. There are 295 days left in the year. General Sam Houston arrived at Gonzales, Texas on March 11, 1836. He took command of the Texas Army. While there word reached him of the battle of the Alamo and its fall. In a few days he would learn of a second defeat, Goliad. He had on 374 men. From here he began a 41 day adventure. It was combination retreat, recruitment and training adventure. It would all come to an end with an 18 minute battle at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. The result was the defeat of Santa Anna and the independence of Texas.

Pioneer Plaza:
Located just north of the Dallas Convention Center is Pioneer Plaza. It is a large public park in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The center piece of the Pioneer Plaza is large sculptures. It is a heavily visited tourist site. Located next to Pioneer Park Cemetery which features the Confederate War Memorial, the two offer the largest public open space in Dallas’ central business district.

Background of Pioneer Plaza:
The land was once railroad and warehouse property. Built on land cleared as part of the failed Griffin Square development, developer Trammel Crow gets credit for the idea behind the sculptures and plaza. He wanted an iconic “Western” sculpture in the City of Dallas. He assembled a group to give the sculptures. Begun in 1992, the $9 million project started on 4.2 acres of land donated by the City of Dallas. $4.8 million of the cost came from private funds raised from individuals and local businesses.

Sculpture:
The large sculpture celebrates the nineteenth century cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail. It was the earliest and easternmost route by which Texas longhorn cattle moved to northern railheads. The trail passed through Austin, Waco, and Dallas until the Chisolm Trail siphoned off most of the traffic in 1867.

Artist Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas created 70 bronze steers and 3 trail riders sculptures. Each steer is larger-than-life at six feet high. All together the sculpture is the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world. Set along an artificial ridge, man-made limestone cliff the native landscaping with a flowing stream and waterfall creates a dramatic effect.

Maintained by the adjacent Dallas Convention Center, Pioneer Plaza is the second most visited tourist attraction in downtown Dallas.

I took these pictures of the sculptures in December 2008. Click on them and they will enlarge.

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Creative Commons License
Longhorns at Pioneer Plaza in Dallas, Texas by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://jimmiekepler.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/cropped-100_1613.jpg.

Taken by Jimmie A. Kepler in December 2008 at the Pioneer Plaza near the Dallas Convention Center in downtown Dallas the photo is of the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive. Created by artist Roberts Summers of Glen Rose, Texas, it consists of bronze pieces – 40 longhorn cattle herded by 3 cowboys on horses.

Source: Additional information on Pioneer Plaza can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Plaza.